posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 02:43 PM
The First Baptist Church of Hammond, a Chicago-area megachurch, fired its pastor on Tuesday saying he had committed "a sin that has caused him to
forfeit his right to be our pastor," the board said in a press release. An Indiana newspaper is reporting that the pastor had a romantic relationship
with a minor.
A pastor at a mega-church has been dismissed after allegations that he committed a grave ‘sin’ with a 16-year-old female church member. Dr Jack
Schaap, 54, had been pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond in Indiana for 11 years, but was let go after a deacon saw a text on Schaap’s
phone from the teenager, allegedly with a picture of the two of them kissing. A board of deacons from the church voted to fire him, according to a
public release from the church ‘due to a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.’ In a sombre meeting at the church on
Wednesday night, the Board of Deacons said the shamed father-of-two confessed to having an affair with the young woman - a member of the church - when
she was just 16
Freedom of religion in this country is one of America’s greatest strengths, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof, but where do we draw the
line when a sense of religious entitlement causes physical and psychological harm to others, crosses the line, and begins to violate constitutional
Due to the fact that I rarely post anything and prefer to lurk and simply read, I am unable to post this in any other forum, but felt it to be an
important topic and one that strikes me at my core.
I knew this man, I've known him my whole life as my father is one of his closest friends and my mother being equally close to his wife. My brother
and I grew up with his children. Unfortunately, when I read the article the other day, it did not surprise me. Abuse, sexual and otherwise, runs
rampant in the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) group. What generally happens is that it is kept quiet and the families of the abused get paid
off, while the abuser moves to a different church. The fact that the deacon board discussed it amongst themselves and then went to the pastor before
going to the police is very telling and proof enough to corroborate my claim that they like to keep things "hush hush". I dare say that had this not
been such a large church and had he not been such a prominent figure, this abuse too would have gone under wraps with just a few people knowing about
As someone who is not religious (I am agnostic), but believes in freedom of religion, I find it difficult to find that balance when I know that abuse
in this particular cult happens rather frequently. The damage that it causes the women is irreversible no matter how much time has passed. It is
detrimental to their psyche due to the psychological aspect of it all especially if they get out and realize that their importance as a woman is just
the same as a man's.
With regards to the above, I am curious as to what you, my fellow thinkers, think should be done, if anything, to curtail this abuse in these cults. I
am typically for less government intrusion and more for personal freedom, but in cases like this, I just wish we could throw out religions entirely.
Of course, I realize that that is a bit extreme, but I am fairly angry right now and the situation is too personal for me. Perhaps some clarity and
wisdom from some of you can set me straight.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments. If any moderator would like to throw this in the "current events" forum, that would be much
appreciated as it's a bit heavy for this forum.